There is more to non-music audio than podcasts, as we’ve been pointing out recently. The latest proof comes from Spotify and Apple, with their latest content experiments.

Spotify has released nine new audiobooks on its service. Well, we say ‘new’ – they are all classic, public-domain books – ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Frankenstein’ etc – but brand new recordings with narrators including actor Hilary Swank and influencer David Dobrik. There’s an accompanying podcast too, ‘Sitting With The Classics’, with Harvard University professor Glenda Carpio offering analysis of each book. While celebrity narrators won’t come cheap, starting with public domain titles seems a sensible way for Spotify to continue its audiobook experiments.

As for Apple, it is adding a new feature to its Fitness+ service called ‘Time to Walk’ – designed to accompany users’ outdoor strolling. It’s a collection of recordings of celebrities walking and talking in locations that have meaning for them. Shawn Mendes and Dolly Parton are among the first to be featured, so it’s also an opportunity for musicians to spend some quality audio time with fans.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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